(R)evolution: Changing how we evaluate teaching and learning

(R)evolution: Changing How We Evaluate Teaching and Learning

Jeff Grabill, Bill Heinrich, and Patti Stewart

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

11:15 - 1:00 (Lunch at 11:15, program starts at 11:30)

***ROOM CHANGE*** International Center, Spartan Rooms, 117B and C


Discovery, learning, and public engagement are the principal products of the academy and the reason for its existence. Each component of this work requires reflective inquiry to ensure effectiveness. This session of STEM Teaching Essentials will introduce two new efforts focused on improving how we characterize and actuate learning, and each effort entails enhancing the systems for supporting learning and reinforcing a culture that recognizes learning as fundamental to our mission.

The first part will introduce a new toolkit for recognizing and understanding effective teaching to enhance student Learning. The Toolkit is intended to be used in units by providing guidance and tools for thinking about understanding effective teaching and the metrics and rewards utilized to assess progress (for both learning and teaching). The goal is to influence and build culture in ways that enhance teaching and learning (and, therefore, student success), particularly when systems for tracking and evaluating both are changing rapidly.

The second part will introduce My Spartan Story, which is MSU’s new system for recognizing learning experiences that are not currently transcriptable (e.g. co-curricular and extra-curricular). That is, experiences that extend beyond the traditional classroom. My Spartan Story enables faculty and students to pay attention to learning in new ways, to help students understand and create meaningful narratives about their learning outside the classroom, and to position high-impact learning experiences for employers.

In each part, we will provide opportunities to engage with these new tools and for conversation about their implications for learning and teaching and MSU.


Jeff Grabill is a Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing. His research focuses on how digital writing is associated with citizenship and learning, and that work has been located in community contexts, in museums, and in classrooms at both the K-12 and university levels. He is a Senior Fellow with University Outreach & Engagement. At Michigan State, he helped develop and led a new major in Professional Writing, was a founder of the Writing in Digital Environments (WIDE) Research Center (now Writing, Information, and Digital Experience), and serves as Chair of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. Dr. Grabill is also a co-founder of Drawbridge Incorporated, an educational technology company.

In his role as Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, Dr. Grabill is responsible for guiding the development of technology-enhanced instruction on campus. He works collaboratively with the chief information officer on issues related to the teaching and learning experience and actively engages with the deans of the Graduate School and undergraduate education on new models related to curriculum development and delivery.

Bill Heinrich, is the Head of Assessment and Experiential Learning at MSU’s Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology where he works to enhance the value of experiential learning across the institution. Dr. Heinrich’s portfolio includes on-campus and international capacity development, focused on assessment skills and mindsets, program evaluation, experiential design, teaching, and learning, human centered design, and student learning. Bill’s research has a dual focus on organizational assessment practice and policy and adult and student experiential learning. Recent publications focus on using multiple outcome perspectives to stretch normative practice in experiential learning assessment and using human centered design to enhance training protocols. Bill’s monitoring and evaluation work supports various university programs, a National Science Foundation grant, and, a private foundation focused on child welfare. Bill previously worked at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he administered college student programs ranging from residence education, outdoor recreation, student conduct, and new student orientation. Bill Holds a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education and a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs Administration-both from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University.

Patti Stewart has worked in faculty development and instructional technology at Michigan State University since 2003. In her current role, she leads and coordinates development programs and learning communities, facilitates teaching and learning cohort programs, and conducts instructional development consultations and conversations. She is also engaged in several research projects focused on evaluation of teaching practice. Her areas of specialization include educational technology and online learning, with specific skills in the areas of faculty development, new media design and implementation, and online course components and program design. Prior to her current position, she has worked for IT Services: Teaching and Learning (formerly vuDAT), the Broad College of Business, and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Michigan State University. Prior to coming to MSU, she worked in marketing and instructional services at Central Michigan University. Patti earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration and M.A. in Telecommunications, Information and Media Studies from Michigan State University, and B.F.A. in Visual Communications from Kendall College of Art and Design.

Video of Workshop